Thursday, October 11, 2007

My trainer

I was fortunate to meet Michelle Merkin a year and a half ago. I met someone who wanted to lease their horse as long as I took dressage lessons with Michelle. I wasn't sure I wanted to learn dressage. My dad had told me my whole life, "Dressage is for people who don't know how to ride." I never pursued learning about it and chose to ride bareback or western. Believe me, I kick myself all the time for listening to him. I was surrounded by people who did dressage and I never bothered to learn more about it or at least try it. My first dressage lesson with Michelle, I was hooked. I felt challenged. I felt the skill involved.
I felt connected with the horse. I leased the horse and rode three days a week, which didn't seem like enough. I just loved it. I think back to all the dressage enthusiasts that purchased horses from my dad and I wish I would have had the curiousity back then to at least try it. Curiousity came age 33 and I feel so lucky to have found a teacher who is able to convey learning easily and I truly trust and value her opinions and advice. Michelle is pictured here with her mare, Class Act, or as we call her "Classy." My dad continues to race horses around the Midwest and I still rely on him for information and advice despite his strong opinions and stereotypes. What can I say, he is a horse trainer. Most are characters, he is no exception.


Beth said...

If I continued to listen to my dad I would have ridden with a wuffle ball bat and spurs the size of my head. I learned from him, but once I trained with an easier style trainer is when my whole outlook trained.

I am actually looking for an off the track you know if you dad is looking to move any before winter? (being in WI this could be handy)

You can email at

Anne said...

Thirty-three isn't so very late to come to dressage. You might have been bored before.

The thing I like about dressage is that I can work on things in a small space and that there's always something to work on.

Deanna said...

Isn't it funny how when we are kids we don't want to question our parents? If your Dad is anything like mine, he is probably saying really good things about your style and methods when you're not listening!

I think Dressage is so beautiful. Good for you!


Rising Rainbow said...

I know some cowboys who think dressage basics are the basis for all riding. So just being a cowboy doesn't make them stubborn and obinionated.

I'm glad that you've found a style of riding that engages you.

Molly said...

I have loved dressage for about 20 years. Before that it was all jumping or trailriding. Your trainer must be wonderful to change your mind so completely.

Donna said...

I've found that most people that only do one discipline think all the other disciplines are "for people who don't know how to ride", I've heard that several times around my barn. I say, try them all and stick with what makes you happy.

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